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CPB budget allocation formula

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has limited discretion in spending the federal appropriation for public TV and radio. Federal law imposes a budget allocation formula that divides the appropriation as indicated at right. The percentages are calculated from text of the legislative provisions below. Dividing CPB funds between TV and radio had been a repeated struggle until 1981, when Congress imposed the formula proposed by Rep. Tim Wirth (D-Colo.). The 75-25 split between TV and radio was based on experience. Robben Fleming, then president of CPB, complained that the formula "emasculates" CPB, and his successors periodically have objected to the loss of discretion over spending. Outside the formula, CPB also spends Annenberg/CPB Project funds and the separate Ready to Learn appropriation from Congress and occasional special appropriations for satellite and other technical system upgrades.


The allocation formula as described officially in the Public Broadcasting Act

The following provisions are contained in this portion of Section 396 of federal communications law, which establishes CPB. Source: federal law as of Jan. 26, 1998, posted on the web site of the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute. Below is a portion of U.S. Code 47, Chapter 5, Part IV, Subpart D, Section 396.

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